I was going to entitle this “Breaking in the New Kitchen” but that would be technically wrong as I did host the Christmas breakfast with my family… My sister might disagree with who should have been first for last night’s feast but hey, things don’t always they way we plan, yanno?
Anyhoo, this evening was planned after we learned of our friend’s death on December 18th (post still not finished but will follow shortly). We suddenly felt the need to see each other; the funeral home not counting.
I swear I am the queen of start and not finish. 🙄 So, before I lose the feeling of last night, here I go. I started on Friday. Lucky for me, I was “liberated” from a job I loathe on Thursday, giving me all day Friday to cook (if that was how I chose to use my time).
I started things off by making the parsley-celery oil for the soup as well as the parsnip chips, inspired by my chef friend Janet, of The Simmering Chef’s recipe. Click here to get it. I was determined to use chicken thighs (skin on, bone in) that I had in my freezer so The Google was brought into service. I found Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella. I got all the ingredients together and placed them in a bag to marinate all afternoon and overnight. If I hadn’t had my date night that included watching the oh-so-horrible-please-don’t-waste-your-time movie “The Poison Rose” (surprising cast: John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Famke Janssen, Brendan Fraser), I might have actually made my soup AND my cake but no…
No matter! I was up and at ’em really early so, first things first, I baked the cake. I am so mad at myself as I had been making Soeur Angèle’s version of the Sachertore for eons (though it had been ages since I last made it) and could not find my copy of the recipe. I was positive I had kept that page, but no. Sigh. So onto The Google (again) I went. No luck. Her recipe is not to be found. So I keep my search up until I found one that sorta-kinda resembled what I remember of it by Lidia Bastianich, but made a few modifications.
As the cake baked, it was onto the Parsnip soup.
As the soup simmered, I went out to shovel the walkway – not that there was much, but still, I took my time. Time to purée the soup and set it aside for warming up later.
I then went on to make my cheese bowls (Raclette and Grana Padano) that would hold my mesclun salad with Raspberry-Honey Vinaigrette. Every time I make these, I am amazed at the quantity of fat I need to wipe out of the frying pan!
Cake cooled and iced it was time to do a quick sweep and mop of the floors and take my shower.
Good grief! Who was this broad who was so organized that her hair would not still be dripping wet when her guests arrived? I didn’t recognize her! She even set the table and shucked the oysters and made mignonette!
Just before Giselle and Dany, then Julie and Michael arrived, I put the chicken into the oven. An hour to cook, fifteen minutes to rest and Bob’s your uncle. The tour of the remodel was given and, as we are wont to do, stood around the island. We noshed on oysters and drank bubbles while catching up. (And, just so you know, it’s not because I still have not received my sofa that we had to. Plus, I did bring up the stools that will be getting their own makeover soon!)
There is nothing I love more than cooking for people I love. We ate, we laughed, we sang an early happy birthday for Dany (two weeks early) and then, because I had changed the Spotify from 70’s acoustic to French crooners, we ended up doing a sort of karaoke with one of Aznavour’s songs – which, as I wrote about when he passed away, is completely IMPOSSIBLE to sing along to (hell, you can’t even read the lyrics fast enough!)
Fun times. I’ve never had all the lights on in the house at once. Bloody hell it was bright. (Note to self… use the damn dimmers!)
P.S. I started this post, officially yesterday morning (as it’s close to 1 am now) whilst enjoying my raisin bread toast (courtesy of Giselle) followed by one of her delicious almond cookies (and she claims she’s not a baker!) I pressed publish before I realised I forgot to add these!